Oct. 10, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In the second installment of the Purdue wrestling 2012-13 season preview, the Boilermakers unveil their crowded middle weights. A pair of NCAA qualifiers return to the Boilermakers' lineup, in addition to several fresh faces who could find their way on to the mat this year.
In addition, Purdue's probable starter at 174 pounds, Chad Welch, brings you this week's episode of the Boilermaker Technique of the Week.
Senior Ivan Lopouchanski headlines the Boilermakers' 149-pound weight class as he posted a 16-8 mark last season en route to his third trip to the NCAA Championships. He's received preseason attention from Amateur Wrestling News and D1CollegeWrestling.net, garnering marks as high as 15th in the nation, and earned marks in the top-10 nationally last season. Despite a disappointing end to last season, Lopouchanski still managed to take sixth at the Big Ten Championships and earn the No. 12 seed at the NCAA Championships, marking the first national seeding of his career.
He'll be pushed by a pair of familiar faces in sophomores Frankie Porras and Brock Norton, who look to battle with their senior teammate. Porras was 17-15 last year, seeing the bulk of the varsity action during Lopouchanski's injury, while Norton turned in an 11-7 mark for the season. Joining the 149-pound ranks for the Boilermakers is Lafayette, Ind. native Alex Griffin, who made the short trip across the Wabash River to join the squad.
The Old Gold and Black return another 2012 NCAA Championship qualifier at 157 pounds this season in senior Tommy Churchard, who set career-bests in wins, major decisions, takedowns and reversals last year. He earned an at-large bid to the national tournament and made the most of it, scoring a pair of wins and falling just shy of All-America honors. Churchard has earned preseason attention from D1CollegeWrestling.net, sitting 22nd in the nation and is poised for a breakout campaign this year.
Churchard will see support from sophomore Dustin Schultz, who has proved one of the Boilermakers' hardest workers on and off the mat. Schultz went 5-8 in his first collegiate season, competing in four open tournaments through the year.
The Boilermakers have a full stable of able bodies at 165 pounds, including returning starter Kyle Mosier who looks to retain the job for the third straight season. A junior, Mosier was 13-14 last year, including key wins against Binghamton, Wisconsin, Indiana and Central Michigan, and he enters this season just one reversal shy (22) of a spot on the Boilermakers' career leaderboard.
Sophomore Pat Robinson and freshman Doug Welch look to battle for the starting job as well at 165, both looking to build off of impressive offseasons. Robinson put together a 19-17 mark in his freshman season at 157 pounds, competing mostly at open tournaments. He placed in four tournaments through the season, taking fifth at Eastern Michigan and the National Collegiate Open, and taking sixth at Maryville and Ashland. Welch redshirted last season, but amassed a 21-7 mark in unattached tournament action and placed three times. After losing one of his front teeth in his first collegiate tournament and missing over a month of competition, he went on to win the Ashland Simonson Open and take third at the Lake Erie Storm Open and National Collegiate Open.
Also throwing his hat in the ring is redshirt freshman Andy Hoselton, who was 5-10 in unattached action last year.
Freshman Chad Welch is the likely starter for the Boilermakers at 174 pounds, coming off an outstanding redshirt season that saw him win 38 matches in unattached competition at 165. Welch piled up the bonus points, scoring 12 major decisions, three technical falls and a pair of pins, as he placed in eight open tournaments on the year, winning two of them.
Sophomore Andy Wiseman was 9-13 in his freshman campaign, including a fifth-place finish at the Ashland Bill Harris Open, and varsity action for the Boilermakers at the Northeast Duals, and freshmen Dion Crowder and Luke Schmit look to gain valuable experience with their first year in the room. Crowder is a product of the Boiler Elite Wrestling Club, originally from Chicago Heights, Ill., while Schmit was a state qualifier for New Ulm High School in Minnesota last season.